My cousin and I actually worked on making a family tree last week on ancestry.com so this assignment was perfect for me!!
It was just difficult to get in touch with some people, especially those who we emigrated from after the 1947 migration of Pakistanis(that’s our forefathers!), so a lot of time was spent waiting on them. A trend you’ll notice, like in a lot of South Asian families, is the lack or even the absence of divorce. Divorce is almost not an option for the couples in our family, until maybe our generation or the next. Presently, it is equivalent to social suicide.
Additionally, there has been tremendous social mobility in our family the past three generations. My great-grandfather was a farmer(who was actually looted and killed in riots), my grandfather was a customs officer(who notoriously did not take bribes and thus didn’t make as much money as he could have), and my father is a nephrologist. You’ll also find that the role of the women in our family and in most families has changed tremendously and they’ve finally been enabled to pursue careers on equal footing with the men in our family(not that they still don’t have their disadvantages- the point is the gap has closed and that has translated to women in our family becoming professionals as well as opposed to their foremothers).
Another trend that’s worthy to note is the classical arranged marriage and marrying within our original regional group in,the Biharis. My mother and father the one exception to this rule on both fronts- my mother’s punjabi and they dated before getting married. Perhaps it’s noteworthy to say that my father was the youngest out of his six siblings. The physical features people have chosen to distinguish and divide Biharis and Punjabis is readily apparent in our family as well- my mom’s side tends to have harder set features and are taller while my father’s side is pretty vertically challenged and has softer facial features(I’m right in the middle of all that!). This speaks to regionalism as well as how this difference is culturally constructed(not biologically constructed) because it focuses on readily and subjectively discernable traits vs. actually observing and analyzing people’s genetic code.
Another trend you’ll notice is the patrilineal lineage, which has its roots in not just Pakistani culture and in Islam but also in western culture to some extent. This touches back to and intermingles with the the notion of the significance of blood relations. We only consider the cousins who are either our uncles’ sons and daughters on our dad’s side to be our blood, and thus our definition of incest follows suit. This does not make objective sense from a genetics standpoint(of course we’re all from the same gene pool and may even have more in common with some of our cousins on our mother’s side as opposed to our fathers’), but it reinforces the fact that kinship is cultural rather than purely biological. Our tree’s a public tree, so check it out on ancestry.com:
Okay so update, my family does not want me to share their ancestry.com profiles publicly, so I created a rough chart to account for our family tree.